How&How’s rebrand of climate-tech start-up Amphico pays homage to lotus leaf

Amphico’s flagship product Amphitex is a a mono-material inspired by the genetic makeup of a lotus leaf and hopes to challenge Gore-Tex in the outdoor wear market.

How&How has designed the brand identity and strategy for climate-tech start-up Amphico, which aims to make outdoor wear recyclable with a material which draws on the stricture of the lotus leaf.

Under the umbrella of its master brand, Amphico has three current projects. Its most developed project is Amphitex, which is a mono-material designed to be 100% recyclable, breathable and waterproof. Amphitex’s recyclable properties set it apart from its direct competitors such as Gore-Tex, which is not recyclable because the textile comprises many layers made of synthetic fluoropolymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

“The irony is that people who love the great outdoors buy these jackets not knowing they can’t be recycled or reused”, says founder and creative director Cat How.

The other two projects under development are Amphigill, an amphibious gill for humans seeking to enable human life underwater, and Ampidry, a hydrophobic yarn requiring no chemical coating to be water-repellent.

Amphico founder Jun Kamei was “always interested in biomimicry”, says How, specifically applied to the design of textiles. Kamei was attracted to the lotus leaf for its waterproof properties and started researching how he could make a recyclable, waterproof mono-material in a similar fashion to the genetic make-up of the leaf.

The Amphico logo pays homage to the lotus leaf and is designed to relate to all three projects under the overarching brand. Being “reflective of nature” more widely, How says the fluid “ripples” encased in the circle of the logo mimic the shape of a leaf, a mountain range and water alike.

The whole lockup is made up of the lotus leaf icon and Amphico wordmark. The wordmark is a modified version of PP Mori in a semi bold weight by Pangram Pangram foundry. Chosen for its “lovely ink traps and soft watery edges”, says How, the brand’s primary typeface is Zimula by La Bolde Vita Foundry.

How&How sought to illustrate the relationship between textiles and nature through different levels of photography fidelity. By showing “the smallest details of textile fabrics” at the micro level to “vast mountain ranges” at the macro level, How says the studio tried to highlight the connection and, in turn, the impact of textiles on the natural world.

The three projects under the Amphico master brand have their own colourways, inspired by lotus leaves and lotus flowers, according to How. She adds that it was useful to have “one core source of inspiration” across the whole brand.

Amphico’s website was built in Webflow and is “fully responsive with nice animations” say How. She explains that Webflow was chosen to build the website because the client wanted something “a bit smaller that they could manage it themselves” when adding to it in the future.

There were few challenges when it came to this project as the clients were “open to ideas” and trusted the studio completely, making the “working process” more effective, say How. One thing that took a little more time was the “mono-material infographics”, she says, which was an illustration with multiple layers and had to be very accurate and convey what Amphico do.

Amphico was one of four projects chosen as part of How&How’s Get Set initiative, which involves four climate-tech start-ups getting new brand strategies and visual identities every year free of charge. Though the studio budgets £50,000 and three months of time for each project, How says “it usually takes longer and costs more”. She adds that, because of this, How&How is looking to “increase the budget” for the Get Set pro bono initiative this year.

Amphico won the Terra Carta Design Lab award shortly after it was selected by How&How for the Get Set initiative. Amphico’s new branding has rolled out across all physical and digital touchpoints as well as the website.

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